Stealth Games are a somewhat recent sub-genre, sometimes referred to as “sneakers” or “creepers” to contrast with the action-oriented “shooter” sub-genre. These games tend to emphasize subterfuge and precision strikes over the more overt mayhem of shooters. Most have first- or third-person shooter elements.
Here are the top 5 Stealth Games:
Thief: The Dark Project
Set in a medieval steampunk metropolis called the City, Thief follows Garrett, a master thief trained by a secret society, the Keepers. With two opposing religious orders known as the Pagans and the Order of the Hammer, or “Hammerites”, Garrett takes up missions that weave an epic story between them and the Keepers ultimately leading to personal sacrifice and revelations.
Thief was the first stealth game to use both light and sound as gameplay mechanics, and the first to always feature a first-person perspective. Its use of this perspective for non-confrontational gameplay challenged the first-person shooter market.
Eidos Montreal is rebooting the game with that latest technology and gameplay, set to release in early 2014 with a ton of anticipation.
All the Thief Games
- Thief: The Dark Project – Looking Glass Studios (1998)
- Thief II: The Metal Age – Looking Glass Studios (2000)
- Thief: Deadly Shadows – Ion Storm (2004)
- Thief – Eidos Montreal (2014)
Set in the fictional, plague-ridden industrial city of Dunwall, Dishonored follows Corvo Attano, the Empress’s legendary bodyguard. He is framed for her murder and forced to become an assassin, seeking revenge on those who conspired against him.
Corvo is aided in his quest by the Loyalists–a resistance group fighting to reclaim Dunwall, and the Outsider–a powerful being who imbues Corvo with magical abilities.
The story and missions are changed in response to the player’s violent actions or lack thereof. Magical abilities and equipment are designed to be combined to create new and varied effects.
The development team researched unexpected ways the player could combine Corvo’s special powers, such as combining a high jump with the ability to teleport in order to travel greater distances than either ability allowed independently.
- Dishonored – Arkane Studios (2012)
- Dunwall City Trials – Arkane Studios (2013)
- The Knife of Dunwall – Arkane Studios (2013)
- Void Walker Arsenal – Arkane Studios (2013)
- The Brigmore Witches – Arkane Studios (2013)
Arguably the spiritual successor to the Prince of Persia series, Assassin’s Creed puts you in the role of stealthy thief-like assassins set throughout recorded (and un-recorded) history. The historic assassin is actually a virtual reality simulation whose content is derived from the genetic memory of the main, modern-day protagonist, Desmond Miles. Since the main character enters a computer to play the role of his historic ancestors, and we fire up the game on our computers to play Desmond mainly playing his ancestor… we’ve got some kind of trippy Matrix grade scenario where we don’t know what’s real after every 5+ hour stint of Assassin’s Creed. So far, Ubisoft Montrieal has recreated historic Jerusalem, Acre, Damascus, Venice, Florence, Forlì, San Gimignano, the Tuscan countryside, Rome, Constantinople, Boston, New York and the American Colonial North East. The upcoming Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, will take place in the pirate-era Caribbean and its period era harbors and coastal towns. This is truly an epic franchise with so many redeeming qualities, not least of which is teaching real history by immersive osmosis.
All the Assassin’s Creed Games
- Assassin’s Creed – Ubisoft Montreal (2007, 2008 PC Version)
- Assassin’s Creed II – Ubisoft Montreal (2009, 2010 PC Version)
- The Battle of Forlì (2010)
- Bonfire of the Vanities (2010)
- Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood – Ubisoft Montreal (2010, 2011 PC Version)
- Copernicus Conspiracy (2011)
- Animus Project Update 1.0 (2011)
- Animus Project Update 2.0 (2011)
- The Da Vinci Disappearance (2011)
- Assassin’s Creed: Revelations – Ubisoft Montreal (2011)
- Ancestors Character Pack (2011)
- Mediterranean Traveler Map Pack (2012)
- The Lost Archive (2012)
- Assassin’s Creed III – Ubisoft Montreal (2012)
- The Hidden Secrets Pack (2012)
- The Battle Hardened Pack (2013)
- The Tyranny of King Washington (2013)
- Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag- Ubisoft Montreal (2013)
Tom Clancey’s Splinter Cell
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell is a series of award-winning action-adventure stealth video games the first of which was released in 2002, and their tie-in novels.
The protagonist Sam Fisher is a highly-trained agent of a fictional black-ops sub-division within the NSA, dubbed “Third Echelon”. The player controls Fisher to overcome his adversaries in levels based on Unreal engines that were extended to emphasize light and darkness as gameplay elements.
The encouraged way to progress through the games is to remain hidden, select non-obvious routes, and utilize diversions to pass guards.
All the Splinter Cell Games
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell – Ubisoft Montreal (2002)
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow – Ubisoft Shanghai (2004)
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory – Ubisoft Montreal (2005)
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent – Ubisoft Shanghai (2006)
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction – Ubisoft Montreal (2010)
- Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist – Ubisoft Toronto (2013)
The Hitman series revolves around Agent 47, a cloned assassin-for-hire, whose flawless record places him in high demand among the wealthy and elite.
The core objective in each mission is to kill assigned targets. In most cases, Hitman allows the player different options to accomplish this task. Players can perform precise assassinations or slaughter indiscriminately in order to achieve the mission goals; however, the games reward a subtle approach by awarding special weapons or cash bonuses if players earn a favorable rank.
The focus of Hitman is not hiding in the shadows from the enemy, but rather blending in amongst them. It is up to the player to initiate violence, since guards do not usually open fire unless provoked.
A major feature in the game is the ‘tension’ meter, detailing how much attention the player is receiving from the public or guards and is dependent on many things.
All The Hitman Games
- Hitman: Codename 47 – IO Interactive (2000)
- Hitman 2: Silent Assassin – IO Interactive (2002)
- Hitman: Contracts – IO Interactive (2004)
- Hitman: Blood Money – IO Interactive (2006)
- Hitman: Absolution – IO Interactive (2012)
- Hitman 6 – IO Interactive
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